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TYPE OF ELECTRODES
Type of Electrodes, Various types of coated electrodes are available on the market, and their chemical composition
has a strong influence on electric arc stability, penetration depth, material deposit, pool purity i.e. on their fields of
application. According to the coating type, the main types of electrodes are:
Electrodes with rutile coatings
The coating of this electrode consists essentially of a mineral called rutile. This consists of 95% titanium dioxide, a
very stable compound that ensures optimum arc stability and high weld pool fluidity, which has a noticeable effect
on the appearance of the weld.
The function of the rutile coating is, however, to ensure a soft melt that is easy to use, and facilitates the formation of
an abundant, viscous slag that gives good flowability into the weld, especially in a horizontal position. In this case
the seam has a good, regular appearance. In some applications rutile is combined with another component that is
typical of other coatings, such as cellulose (rutilcellulose electrodes) or fluorite (rutilbasic electrodes). Their usual
purpose is to obtain an electrode with a stable arc that gives a higher performance weld.
Electrodes with cellulose coatings
The coating of these electrodes consists mainly of cellulose integrated with iron alloys (magnesium and silicon).
The coating gasifies almost completely, thus allowing welding in a descending vertical position, which cannot be
achieved with other types of electrode; the high gasification level of the cellulose reduces the quantity of slag
present in the weld. The generation of a large quantity of hydrogen (derived from the particular chemical
composition of the coating) ensures a "hot" weld pool, with the melt of a considerable quantity of base material; it is
thus possible to obtain high penetration welds with little slag in the pool.
The mechanical properties of the weld are optimal; the appearance is rather poor since the almost complete
absence of liquid protection given by the coating does not allow the pool to be shaped during solidification.
Given the poor arc stability, the welding current is usually direct (DC) with reverse polarity.
Electrodes with basic coating
The coating of basic electrodes consists of iron oxides, iron alloys and primarily calcium and magnesium
carbonates which, with the addition of calcium fluoride, obtain fluorite which is a mineral used to facilitate melting.
They have a high base material purification capacity, so that high quality welds are obtained with considerable
mechanical strength. These electrodes also withstand high drying temperatures so that they do not contaminate the
pool with hydrogen. Fluorite makes the arc very unstable: the pool is less fluid, there are frequent short circuits due
to the transfer of large drops of weld material; the arc should be kept very short due to the low volatility of the coating;
all these properties need the presence of an experienced welder. The welds have a hard slag which is difficult to
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remove, but must be completely removed for repeated passes. These electrodes are suitable for horizontal, vertical
and overhead welding.
As regards the current to be employed, the use of direct current (DC) power sources with straight polarity is
recommended. Basic electrodes are distinguished by the very high quantity of material deposited and are well
adapted to welding high thickness joints. They are very hygroscopic and should be kept in a dry place in a
hermetically closed container; if this is impossible, we recommend drying the electrode again before using it.
The author would like to thank:
BOC Industrial A Member of the Linde Group
Taken from Industrial Gases Catalogue 2010.
Telwin Sp.a -
Taken from www.Telwin.com The Art of Welding
Cemont A brand within Air Liquid Welding
Taken from 2010 General Catalogue.
Air Products Ltd
Taken from Welders Handbook
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